CW Loses Edge with Dull 'Valentine' and 'Easy Money'
CW Loses Edge with Dull 'Valentine' and 'Easy Money'
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Sunday night the CW premieres its two newest hour-long shows: the romantic comedy Valentine at 8pm and the financial drama Easy Money at 9pm. Technically, that's not true, since the shows are produced by Media Rights Capital in one of the strangest deals ever in TV, which is why the new CW Sunday night is destined for failure.

In the absurd deal, the CW outsourced programming of Sundays to MRC, deciding instead that it could become a major network by producing just nine hours of original programming per week.

The MRC deal was shrouded in mystery, with CW president Dawn Ostroff refusing to provide details during the summer Television Critics Association press tour. There has been very little promotion of the two major scripted shows, Valentine and Easy Money. This all points to disaster, and it doesn't help that these are two of the dullest new shows of the season.

I desperately wanted to love Valentine. The combination of creator Kevin Murphy, whose previous credits include Desperate Housewives, Reaper and the musical version of Reefer Madness, and co-star Autumn Reeser from The O.C. should be a guaranteed recipe for hilarity.

Unfortunately, it's not. Instead, Valentine feels like a cheaply made rip-off of Charmed. The biggest tragedy is that it's just plain boring. There might be some potential for entertainment if it was a total trainwreck, but Valentine is simply mediocre in every way.

Grace Valentine (Jaime Murray) is the goddess Aphrodite, living on Earth hoping to prove that true love is still real. Along with her children, her mission is to unite happy couples, otherwise her powers become useless and she and her children become mortal. She is aided by her sons who are modern incarnations of Cupid and Hercules, as well as the Oracle of Delphi, who sees peoples' destinies in a magical reflecting pool.

At its best, Valentine amounts to little more than a lesson in Greek mythology. The show is a procedural in which the family takes on a single couple in each episode. Try imaging CSI with an exponentially smaller budget, then replace the corpses with lovers.

If Valentine is the television equivalent of watching grass grow, Easy Money is like watching paint dry. The drama is about a family that owns and operates a small-town money lending business. With stars like Laurie Metcalf and Judge Reinhold, you might expect Easy Money to be somewhat interesting, but it's not. Loans are approved or denied, cars are repossessed and the main character is the prodigal son who wants out. It's as if the creators took the premise of Six Feet Under and decided that what viewers really want is to see the inner workings of small-time loan businesses.

Perhaps the MRC's next show will be about actuaries or statisticians. Like Valentine, the problem isn't that Easy Money is especially awful. If it were, at least it would be interesting to watch. These shows suffer from mediocrity. They're like the two plain donuts – no glaze or frosting, no sprinkles or custard filling, just fried dough.

If you'd like to judge for yourself, I strongly urge you to tune in Sunday to the CW at 8pm for Valentine and 9pm for Easy Money. I have a suspicion that they won't be around long enough for you to get a second chance.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)

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